The romantic comedy is a much-maligned genre from a critical standpoint. Most of these films are predictable and live and die by cheap one-liners. These poor conceptions are mainly primed to jolt audiences for quick moments, but rarely ever immerse one in the depth and world of its characters. It is rare that a film of said genre truly takes the viewer on that often tread path and leaves them not only enthralled with the journey, but anxiously awaiting to take it once again. David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook fits the latter category of films, reinvigorates the genre, and is easily one of the best films of the year.
Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) is being taken home after serving eight months in a mental institute. His one aim is to get his marriage back on track with his cheating wife. One day he encounters Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), another former patient of a mental institute, who is still having trouble dealing with the death of her husband. The film follows the formation of their bond and while one knows the ultimate outcome of the film, Russell does a strong job of throwing unexpected but subtle twists into the proceedings. He also manages to aptly weave a number of unique subplots including Pat's relationship with his football-obsessed father (Robert DeNiro) as well as a number of other minor characters that have positive impacts on Tiffany and Patrick's growing relationship. Continue Reading